Scottish primary teachers’ use of educational farm visits in the context of policies on outdoor learning and sustainable development education

Mattu, L., Roberts, D. and Wood, B. (2015) Scottish primary teachers’ use of educational farm visits in the context of policies on outdoor learning and sustainable development education. World Environmental Education Congress: Planet and People, How Can They Develop Together?, Gothenburg, Sweden, 29th Jun - 2nd July 2015.

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Sustainable development education is an overarching theme of the Scottish ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ (CfE) guidelines. These guidelines emphasise outdoor learning, and link it explicitly with learning for sustainability. A number of other policy drivers also highlight the importance of sustainability, environment education, and the outdoors. Since agricultural holdings constitute 73% of the land area in Scotland, farms would seem to be a relevant context for children’s learning. Tal (2008) concluded from the international literature that agriculture education was an important component of education for sustainable development, while Joshi et al. (2008) found that ‘farm-to-school’ programmes in the US contributed to participants’ knowledge about food sustainability. The potential for policy implementation through educational farm visits is vast, but the ways in which Scottish primary school teachers currently utilise such visits remains unexplored. As part of a study investigating the use of educational farm visits, primary school teachers in Scotland were asked their opinions on the new curriculum guidelines, and the level of support for outdoor learning in the local authority (LA) responsible for their school. Teachers who had been on a recent farm visit were asked about the topics and curriculum areas they had linked with the visit. Although recent Scottish education policy emphasises sustainability education, the potential of educational farm visits as a valuable resource for these areas, and as part of children’s outdoor learning experience, is not currently realised by primary school teachers in Scotland.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Keywords:Educational farm visits, food and farming, outdoor learning, Scottish education policy, sustainable development
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wood, Dr Bethan
Authors: Mattu, L., Roberts, D., and Wood, B.
Subjects:L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB1501 Primary Education
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Interdisciplinary Studies

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
605912Mains of Loirston PhDBethan WoodMains of Loriston Charitable Trust (MOLCT)UNSPECIFIEDIS - INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES